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To Horace Mann
But, to have done with politics. Old Marlborough has at last published her Memoirs19; they are digested by one Hooke20, who wrote a Koman history; but from her materials, which are so womanish, that I am sure the man might sooner have made a gown and petticoat with them. There are some choice letters from Queen Anne, little inferior in the fulsome to those from Bang James to the Duke of Buckingham.
Lord Oxford's21 famous sale begins next Monday, where there is as much rubbish of another kind as in her Grace's History. Feather bonnets presented by the Americans to Queen Elizabeth; elks'-horns converted into caudle-cups ; true copies of original pictures that never existed ; presents to himself from the Koyal Society, &c., particularly forty volumes of prints of illustrious English personages ; which collection is collected from frontispieces to godly books, bibles and poems; head-pieces and tail-pieces to Waller's works; views of King Charles's sufferings; tops of ballads, particularly earthly crowns for heavenly ones, and streams of glory. There are few good pictures, for the miniatures are not to be sold, nor the manuscripts; the books not till next year. There are a few fine bronzes, and a very fine collection of English coins.
We have got another opera22, which is liked. There was
19 Account of her Conduct from her first Coming to Court till the year 1710.
2° Nathaniel Hooke (d. 1763), ser-geant-at-law. He received £6,000 from the Duchess as a reward for his assistance. She is stated to hare .quarrelled with Mm in consequence of an attempt on his part to convert •her to Roman Catholicism.
21 Edward Harley (1689-1741), second Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer; High Steward of Cambridge University, 1728. His 'miscellaneous curiosities, with the coins,
medals, and portraits, were sold by auction in March, 1742, and the books . . . were bought the same year by Thomas Osborne, the bookseller of Gray's Inn, for £13,000. .. . That the manuscripts might not be dispersed, Lady Oxford parted with them in 1753 to the nation for the insignificant sum of £10,000. They now form the Harleian collection in the British Museum.'— (D. N. B.)
22 By Buranello, and called ' Scipione in Cartagine.1 Wright,